The most beautiful PowerPoint slides are of little use if the presenter cannot express himself properly. If a speaker excels in rhetorical skills, you can be sure that he has practiced for it. With some rhetoric practice, you can significantly improve your skills as a presenter. We will show you what you need to do for this.
All persons who work in a responsiblen position need a minimum of rhetorical skills. Executives and presenters in particular depend on being able to express themselves convincingly and clearly. Talking freely in public is part of almost everywhere today. It starts with team meetings or PowerPoint presentations and goes as far as balance sheet press conferences of international corporations. Those who are convincing with their public speaking can achieve more. For career and business success, it is advisable to specifically train one’s skills in this area. We give you a few tips on how you can improve your rhetorical skills step by step. The exercises may feel strange at first and cause some stress. But that’s not unusual when entering uncharted territory. Cut yourself some slack and take each exercise in stride.
RHETORIC EXERCISE 1: SHORT EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEECHES
Ask one or more colleagues or friends to help you with this exercise. Let spontaneously any topic, about which you now have to speak completely unprepared for 3-5 minutes. You are not expected to give an expert presentation in the process. The exercise is mainly about reducing speech inhibitions, concentrating and getting into a good flow of speech.
RHETORIC EXERCISE 2: DON’T BE THROWN OFF TRACK
Ask your colleagues or friends to help you with the exercise as well. Prepare a paper on a topic of your choice of approximately 10-15 minutes in length. As you give your presentation, at irregular intervals give you a note with a call to action. This could be opening a window, cleaning the whiteboard, or moving your jacket to another hanger. It does not matter what action you are to perform. The point is that despite the disruption, you continue to talk in a focused manner while they complete the tasks. This will help you learn to stay focused no matter what interference you encounter during your speech.
RHETORIC EXERCISE 3: SUMMARIZE TEXTS AND REPRODUCE
A variation on the impromptu exercise. Look for an interesting Article from your newspaper, a magazine or the Internet. Choose a text that is a little longer and read it carefully. Afterwards, take 3-5 minutes again and summarize the main content points in a short presentation.
RHETORIC EXERCISE 4BRAINSTORMING-EXERCISE
You do not need an audience for this exercise. This is about simply speaking freely for 15-20 minutes. No matter what is on your mind, speak up. It will seem silly at first, but you will quickly get used to it. You will find that you are always better able to follow a thought for a longer time and talk about it coherently. This exercise will slowly overcome your inhibition to speak out loud.
RHETORIC EXERCISE 5: FAST THECHANGE OF MEN
Here, it’s all about adapting quickly to new things. Pick 3-5 topics in which you are not an expert. Take whatever comes to mind. Maybe pasta recipes, Egyptian death cults, railroads and famous fashion designers. Write down the topics on one piece of paper each. You can also ask someone to choose some topics for you. Now draw the first slip of paper and start talking spontaneously about the topic you drew. After 5 minutes, draw the next note. Transitions should be reasonably smooth.
Conclusion: With Speaking in front of an audience is like learning a foreign language. You need to put aside your inhibitions and just start. The foreign language student who wants to cram more vocabulary and grammar before he starts speaking runs the risk of never finding the courage to approach a local on vacation with his imperfect skills. Getting in front of an audience and speaking publicly can cause discomfort, but without taking the plunge, it won’t. The rhetoric exercises will help you lose inhibitions and present your topic at the next lecture or PowerPoint presentation in a concentrated and at the same time relaxed way.